Vinayak Hegde joins Wheels Up as Chief Marketplace Officer
11 May 2021 – Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, announced the appointment of Vinayak Hegde as Chief Marketplace Officer. In this role, Hegde will oversee strategy and execution of initiatives across all aspects of the Wheels Up Marketplace, including revenue accountability, product strategy, technology development, business strategy, sales and member experience.
Hegde’s team will build and manage the world’s largest platform of safety-vetted and verified private aircraft while optimising private aviation and increasing customer accessibility through its revolutionary two-sided marketplace. With its next-generation technology-driven platform, the Wheels Up Marketplace is expanding the addressable market and making private air travel accessible for millions of consumers. Hegde will report directly to Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter.
“Vinayak is a true product, revenue and technology expert with an outstanding track record at Amazon and Airbnb, arguably the most successful global marketplaces,” said Dichter. “He is an incredible asset as we continue to build our app and marketplace capabilities. His ability to optimise multiple processes in order to grow our marketplace ecosystem supports our overall mission to democratise private aviation so more people than ever can experience private flying.”
“I am thrilled to be joining Wheels Up during this pivotal time for the Company,” said Hegde. “Wheels Up is a pioneer in the private aviation industry in so many ways and I am looking forward to accelerating the marketplace growth and expanded adoption. The team has developed a strong foundation and together we will realise the vision of its potential.”
Hegde has been recognised as one of the early innovators to combine data, product, engineering, marketing and revenue management to help companies scale their consumer internet offerings. He joins Wheels Up with more than two decades of experience leading global teams in the technology and digital sector.
Most recently, he served as President and COO of Blink Health, an online health service company that facilitates a means for consumers to obtain cost-effective prescription medications. Previously, Hegde was CMO of Airbnb for the company’s Global Homes business and the Head of Growth for all of Airbnb where he was responsible for the growth and marketing of their worldwide business, which grew to $4.8 billion in revenue and over $38 billion in bookings during his tenure.
His experience also includes senior positions at Groupon including being the Global CMO and owning Marketing and Revenue Management where he launched Groupon’s brand campaigns and growth strategy, which grew to service over 50 million customers worldwide with over 160 million Groupon app downloads. While at Amazon for over a decade, Hegde was General Manager owning Amazon’s CRM and Email, Amazon Goldbox and Deals, Amazon Smile and the Amazon Affiliates program, and also led product and engineering for Amazon’s traffic and marketing organisation. Hegde graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India.